Mike and Brenda Crary are ordinary Saddleback Church members
who responded to Pastor Rick’s challenge to step out in faith by going on an
Orphan Care trip to Rwanda in the summer of 2014. They decided to bring their
entire family, and together through Saddleback’s Orphan Care Initiative they
learned how to help equip local churches to empty orphanages. They thought they
knew what was in store for them, but as often happens on a PEACE trip, God used
them in a way they never expected.
As part of their home visits made with local church members,
Mike and Brenda stopped by to check in on a family prior to their reunification
with their 17-year-old daughter. This family had placed their daughter in the
orphanage long ago thinking it would be the best place for her. It wasn’t until
they heard from their local church about the harm caused by institutional care
that they decided to reunite.
The mother, Mama Evette, was tending to newborn twins as she
waited with anticipation for her daughter to return home from the orphanage for
good. As the Crarys held the newborns and chatted with the family, they learned
that Mama Evette was a genocide survivor who had given her life to Christ at a
local church sometime after the genocide. Soon after, she married her
ex-boyfriend when he gave his life to Christ. They had recently had the twins
whom the Crarys were now admiring.
Noticing the babies’ strong startle response, Mike shared
how all babies have the inborn reflex to raise their hands when they feel the
sensation of falling. Mama Evette was astounded. She told the Crarys how she
had been praying about this behavior and was deeply worried her babies were
experiencing demonic attack. Friends had even visited and advised Mama Evette
to take her baby to the witch doctor for treatment. But in faith, Mama Evette
had refused to go because she was now a believer in Jesus.
Brenda further explained how premature babies exhibit the
behavior more frequently because their developing nervous systems are highly
sensitive. Mama Evette confirmed that the twins were born prematurely. Excitement
filled the room as this mother realized both her babies were healthy and
growing normally. God had listened to Mama Evette’s prayers and responded by
granting her the reassurance she craved through the Crarys’ visit.
God could have chosen anyone to answer Mama Evette’s
prayers, yet He orchestrated that the Crarys would travel to Rwanda to be the
vehicle of his love. It didn’t take any
special skills – just knowledge they already had, training they received, and a
willingness to say “yes” to God. Because the Crary family had the faith to go,
God used them in the lives of Mama Evette and her babies.
If you are interested in joining Orphan Care on a PEACE trip
like Mike and Brenda, join us at the monthly PEACE night gathering on at 6pm in
Tent 3 on the 4th Saturday of every month, or contact us at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (949) 609-8555.